BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: James Hunter: The Hard Way (Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

James Hunter: Til the End
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: James Hunter: The Hard Way (Universal)

This Englishman with an unexpectedly soulful voice was one of the first artists posted at Elsewhere back in mid 2006 and that astonishing album People Gonna Talk was easily among the best of that year.

But in this country with very little publicity (I saw none) it rose without a trace.

Still, those who heard it got a wonderful slice of Sam Cooke/soul-reggae -- and it went on to be in the "best of" lists in Mojo, USA Today and many other media (Elsewhere included, obviously), and was nominated for best traditional blues album at the Grammys.

So this follow-up actually deserves that overworked label "much anticipated".

Van Morrison once said Hunter was "one of the best voices and best kept secrets". Oddly enough despite the excellent People Gonna Talk, he still seemed to be. This time out however everything is stacked in his favour, not the least that he has New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint on hand.

The grand old master of Nawlins saw a Hunter show and recognised that here was someone special so lined up to get in the studio with this man who seems to be able to write instant and memorable classics, and deliver them with a band that is skin tight. It's not too late to discover that previous album as well as this -- it has and will stand the test of time -- and if you have it you will need no second recommendation for this one.

James Hunter is someone special. Discover him this go-round (and there's an interview with this very funny and good natured fellow here).

Share It

Your Comments

Ian - Dec 19, 2008

This album should be the mainstream crossover hit of the summer (go away Duffy). Stacked full if soulful grooves, perfect for summer bbqs. Grab a Carona and sway to "Carina".

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Edith Piaf: Live at Carnegie Hall 1957 (Fantastic Voyage/Southbound)

Edith Piaf: Live at Carnegie Hall 1957 (Fantastic Voyage/Southbound)

Those who are used to hearing "The Little Sparrow" in aching, melancholy mode will be surprised by this historic concert at Carnegie Hall where she appeared with a full orchestra and... > Read more

Blitzen Trapper: VII (Shock)

Blitzen Trapper: VII (Shock)

Curiously, the edgy take Portland's Blitzen Trapper brought to Americana hasn't caught on in this country which embraces Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and singer-songwriters like Steve Earle and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar (World Circuit/Elite)

Orchestra Baobab: Made in Dakar (World Circuit/Elite)

The reissue six years ago of this Senegalese band's 1982 sessions Pirate's Choice thrust this exceptional outfit into the world music spotlight where it remains to shine and gleam. They released... > Read more

Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (1968)

Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (1968)

For many decades I kept a clipping about Blue Cheer and this particular album inside the record cover, and of course when I went to look for it recently it was gone. But the gist of it was this:... > Read more